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Love Thy Neighbor

I watched a show recently about people who are Christmas Spirit fanatics when it comes to light displays for their homes. This show is a Christmas light battle, where the winner wins a great sum of money and a trophy. Winning the competition is awesome for them, I’m sure, but after watching the show and hearing their stories, you can see that little child-like Spirit in their eyes as they see everyone enjoy all the hard work and creativity they put into these spectacular displays. This particular episode I watched was the neighborhood battle.

I really loved this episode because it was about a whole neighborhood coming together, having a plan to make a fun and unique display for the whole community to see and enjoy. During the interviews with each team of neighbors, from different parts of the states, there was a common theme as to what they loved the most about putting on the light displays together.

Community, friendship, and family.

They loved the time spent getting to know their neighbors better, building strong friendships and feeling like they were family. They encouraged each other and helped one another out with each house’s display. It was really moving to watch.

I think I loved it because it reminded me of our goal for the Community groups here at Calvary Open Bible. They’re about building relationships, loving on people in our community, and sharing the love of Christ. This Christmas Eve it was such a blessing to be able to share that love, and to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we served those in need.

Calvary Open Bible did an awesome job this year blessing the homeless with a filling and scrumptious Christmas Eve dinner. So many came to help cook, serve, deliver food, or to simply greet and eat with those who came, making them feel welcome and loved. It was a great example of what the Lord meant when he said “Love your neighbor as yourself”. (Matthew 10:27) Everyone is our neighbor.

It is such a blessing to be a part of this loving, friendly, outgoing church who truly has the heart to serve. If you missed out on serving for the Christmas Eve dinner this year, I strongly encourage you to sign up next year. My ten year old son, Patrick, already requested that we sign up again next year, as he and his sister served up mashed potatoes and gravy.

I also encourage you to join a Community group, where you can help serve others in our community year round, and build strong relationships with the people in those groups. Invite your friends as well! I am very blessed and humbled to be a leader to our young adult group, JOURNEY. What an amazing group of people who have a heart for God and a strong desire to get to know Him on a deeper level.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and may God richly bless you with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control for this coming New Year. Notice it starts with His love, and the rest of the gifts follow.

God Bless,

Alyssa Bender